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Vegetable of the Month: Rhizomes - Gingerroot, Galangal, Tumeric


Fresh tumeric roots should have a spicy fragrance and stubby fingers protruding from the sides of the root. Refrigerate unpeeled tumeric, tightly wrapped, for 3 weeks.



Galangal can be sliced and used to flavor soups and stews (remove before serving). It can also be mixed with lemon grass, chilies, shallots and garlic into a paste that can be used to flavor rice dishes. Galangal can also be mixed into a curry paste for similar purposes.


Peel skin from the root and gently peel the skin beneath (that closest to the root is the most flavorful). Gingerroot can be sliced or minced (minced gingerroot gives the most pungent flavor). Ginger is popular in Asian cuisine where it is used both fresh and dried. Ginger can also be found crystallized, candied, preserved and pickled.

The powdered, dried form of ginger has a more spicy, intense flavor and is often used in baking (gingerbread, gingersnaps, ginger cookies).


Tumeric is typically boiled or steamed and then dried and ground into powder. Use ground tumeric in fish or rice dishes. Be careful with fresh turmeric, it will stain your hands and clothing.

Saffron (very expensive) is sometimes substituted for tumeric.

Include Rhizomes to spice your 5 to 9 A Day Plan!

  • Ginger can be used raw or cooked; use sparingly at first to become acquainted with the pungent taste.
  • Chop ginger finely and sauté with garlic as a flavor base for oriental stir-fries.
  • Add powdered tumeric to rice dishes for coloring and flavor.
  • Soups and stews can be flavored with tumeric.


Ginger Smashed Potatoes with Dill

Makes 8 servings
Each serving equals two 5 A Day servings
Source: Wegmans


8 red potatoes (unpeeled), washed and quartered
1 bag (16 oz) stew style vegetables
1 Tbsp salt
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 cup light cream
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 Tbsp fresh chopped dill

Place potatoes and vegetables in soup pot, cover with cold water; add salt. Bring to boil, covered, on HIGH heat; reduce to simmer.

Simmer until potatoes are tender, 25-30 min. Drain; return potato mixture to pot. Add ginger, cream and butter.

Smash potato mixture with potato masher or beat with handheld mixer to desired consistency. Add dill; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Nutritional analysis per serving: Calories 271, Protein 5g, Fat 9g, Calories From Fat 29%, Cholesterol 27mg, Carbohydrates 42g, Fiber 3g, Sodium 349mg.

Gingered Beef with Broccoli and Stir-Fry Sauce

Makes 4 servings
Each serving is equal to one and one-half 5 A Day servings
Source: Wegmans


2 cups broccoli crowns (separate florets and slice stems ¼-inch)
3/4 lb lean beef cut for stir fry
3 Tbsp water
1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp unpeeled fresh ginger, minced
3/4 cup low sodium stir-fry sauce
1 red pepper, cut in 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup shiitake mushrooms, stemmed
1/2 cup snow peas, trimmed

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